Ephesians 5:15 Be very careful how you live. Do not live like people who aren’t wise. Live like people who are wise.
Each moment of our lives is a gift from God. Psalms 39:4 (NLT) says “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is.”
Early in 2016 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My first reaction was “Why me God?” But after the initial shock I realised God was giving me an opportunity to evaluate my life and change what I needed to change. As part of the process I did the Bible study ONE MONTH TOO LIVE, and considered the questions “What do I want my legacy to be?” “How do I want people to remember Archie?” Because of that decision I wrote a book of Daily Reflections.
Too many of think we will live forever. Or if we don’t nobody will miss us. We are wrong…
- What do you want your legacy to be?
Prayer: Lord help me live right today.
John 16:33 “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world, you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
Step Twelve says “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others.”
Jesus says in John 15:12 “This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.”
Ephesians 4:29-32 says to ‘watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.’
Jesus, Step Twelve and the Bible tell us to invest in others and they tell instruct us how to do it right. Step Twelve is preceded by eleven other steps about getting our own lives right with God, right with others and right with ourselves. Then in Step Twelve, it says ‘we tried to carry the message.’ Through witnessing to others by our attitudes, beliefs, and commitment to the process of continued life change in relationship with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “this is my command.” He didn’t say this is what I think you should or could do. It is not a choice it is a command. If we are serious about the process of recovery we need to invest in others the way God has invested in us. We need to love them the way Christ loves us [He died for me! and for you] We need to be willing to invest in others whatever we need to invest in them to lead them on the right path [RECOVERY]
Ephesians 4:29-32 tells us when we invest in others we need to watch how we talk. Sometimes when we invest in others it can be tempting to fall back into our old ways of talking and acting. This scripture also tells us the Holy Spirit is moving and breathing in us making us fit for living God’s will in our daily lives and relationships.
Recovery requires character change, giving up our old sinful ways of thinking, speaking and acting. We can only do that in close relationship with the Holy Spirit, and remember it is our responsibility to ‘carry the message.’ not to change others but to invest in them so that God can intervene in their lives the way He has in ours and help them to change in order that they might help the people God has lined up for them to invest in.
Matthew 25:13-30 “So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive. 14 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. 15 To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. 16 Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. 17 The second did the same. 18 But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money. 19 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. 20 The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. 21 His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ 22 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. 23 His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ 24 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. 25 I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ 26 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? 27 The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. 28 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. 30 Throw him out into utter darkness.’
God gives us time, gifts and other resources according to our abilities and He expects us to invest them wisely until He returns.
Ephesians 2:14-19 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.
Read 1 Peter 2:1-15
WE CAN LIVE GODLY LIVES BECAUSE WE HAVE TASTED GOD’S KINDNESS
1 Peter 2:2-3 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.
OUR TRUE IDENTITY IS NO LONGER SINNER BUT HOLY SAINT
1 Peter 2:9-10 You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”
OUR TESTIMONY OF CHANGED LIFE IS THE BEST WITNESS OF GRACE
1 Peter 2:15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.
1 Peter 2:21-25 God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when He was insulted, nor threaten revenge when He suffered. He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds, you are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
FORGIVEN TO FORGIVE
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns anger away. But mean words stir up anger.
Uncontrolled anger will not repair relationships. The right attitude to people that have hurt you is forgiveness. The right attitude towards those you have hurt is to honestly accept your failure and seek their forgiveness.
Forgiveness doesn’t keep track of offenses. We should always forgive those who have hurt us.
Forgiveness needs to follow God’s pattern of forgiveness. Realising how much God has forgiven us of through the process of recovery we need to be willing to forgive with the same amount of forgiveness. If you are still angry towards those on your list who have hurt, you then you are not ready yet to forgive them or to talk to them about repairing relationships.
- Who on your list aren’t you ready to talk to yet?
Prayer: God help me identify if there is anyone on my list I am not yet ready to speak to.
Proverbs 12:18 Thoughtless words cut like a sword. But the tongue of wise people brings healing.
What we say reveals what is in our hearts. Wholehearted obedience to God requires preparation. Repairing relationships requires preparation. Unless our hearts are ready for the task of meeting and sharing with others we have hurt and who have hurt us it isn’t going to go well.
We need to take time to pray about it, set a plan of how we would like the meeting to go and what outcomes we desire. God likes it when we take time to prepare for things with a spirit of thankfulness for whatever happens. We also need to take time to prepare what we want to say to people. The words we use can make all the difference in how we are received.
- Have you prepared what you want to say to people?
Prayer: Lord help me prepare what I want to say to the people on my list with Your help.
Mark 14:38 Watch and pray. Then you won’t fall into sin when you are tempted. The spirit is willing. But the body is weak.”
We need to be aware in the process of recovery of our strengths and our weaknesses. We all have weaknesses in some areas of our lives and we are strong in others. In areas where we are weak we need to make sure we avoid putting ourselves in vulnerable situations.
One of the reasons I live in Victoria instead of Western Australia is because in W.A. I have too many contacts from my past. After all my years of recovery I do not believe I would ever be tempted to relapse. But, in early recovery when I was susceptible and vulnerable I am not sure I would still be where I am today had I continued to live in Western Australia.
- What lengths are you willing to go to avoid vulnerable situations where you may be tempted to relapse?
Prayer: God today I commit to going to any length to maintain
my new life and spiritual growth.